CMH Gourmand – Culinary Columbus & Central Ohio

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Columbus: Ice Cream Capital of the World

Posted by cmh gourmand on July 2, 2008


Welcome to July – National Ice Cream Month. The link below is my Ice Cream Web Site. I have not updated it for over a year. However the good news is that all of the information is more or less correct.

Ice Cream Ohio

Two places I will add when I get time. Ollie’s Fine Ice Cream in Delaware and Susie’s Big Dipper in Piqua, Ohio.

You may have noticed that the CMH Gourmand blog banner reads Ice Cream Capital of the World (Columbus). I really believe that. I have had Ice Cream and gelato all over the world. I have also consulted on two books about ice cream. Having established my credentials, let me present the case for my argument. In Columbus you have easy access to four places that have all fallen on lists of the top ten ice cream shops in the country. These shops are (in alphabetical order): Denise’s, Graeter’s, Handel’s and Jeni’s. People ask me which I like the best – my answer – it depends on the flavor. I will say, on most given days – you will find me with a scoop of Jeni’s or Denise’s. My favorite flavor is Graeter’s Coconut Chocolate Chip.

In addition to the four ice creameries listed above we also have Johnson’s and Mardi Gras. Johnson’s has a fine vanilla bean and cool ice cream buckeyes for football season. Mardi Gras has some wonderful, exotic flavors as well as some traditional classics. I have taken ice cream fanatic friends from various cities to all of these places and my guests left impressed.

We also have three great ice cream places within less than a two hour drive from the capital city: Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl, Youngs, and (Velvet Ice Cream) Ye Old Mill. The first two have also appeared on a couple top ten lists in their day.

Added to the above, we have some really good high volume ice cream makers in Ohio. We can get the following in Columbus: Toft’s (Anderson’s General Store), Velvet Ice Cream – everywhere, Pierre’s (many specialty grocery stores), and Homemade Brand (most grocery stores and UDF).

So yeah, we are the Ice Cream Capital of the World, because we have the best selection of top quality ice cream one could find anywhere and it is all located inside of 270.

Granted, Le Mars Iowa has billed itself as Ice Cream Capital of the World since 1994 per the Iowa state legislature. No disrepect to the Blue Bunny Brand of high volume commercial grade ice cream. I am sure Le Mars makes more…..we make better. All hail the dictatorship! Le Mars, I have voted you down to Ice Cream capital of Iowa, Columbus is taking the World!

I am open to other names – if you can make a good argument for your choice.

Ice Cream Capital of: Ohio, The Nation, The USA, North America, or Western Hemisphere.

6 Responses to “Columbus: Ice Cream Capital of the World”

  1. Kate said

    Ohio is, at the very least, the Ice Cream Capital of the Nation. I live in Portland, OR now, and while the food here is very, very good, the ice cream situation is seriously lacking. What I wouldn’t do for a jeni’s out here!!

  2. zanne614 said

    Oh, thanks for mentioning Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl. I grew up in Zanesville, and Tom’s was part of any important event in our family. Not to mention that they make their own wonderful ice cream.

    My grandfather put up some of the money to start that business a million years ago, and Tom was my cousin. It’s definitely worth a visit for the “step back in time” atmosphere and great sundaes. My favorite is the #2 with crushed peanuts.

    Thanks for the memories!

  3. Lorence said

    Jim,
    Thanks for the info on Ollie’s. I’ve never been up that way, but I think we’re going to have to go now. Bun’s for lunch, Ollie’s for dessert…

    I completely agree with you on Columbus being the “Ice Cream Capital of the World”. There’s so much quality to choose from in such a small area!
    I look forward to your update on the Ice Cream Ohio page.
    So far we’ve been to 7 of the locations on page, plus one of the venerable favorites of the “Best Ice Cream” lists, Carl’s in Fredericksberg, Va. Very interesting place… We still need to get to Tom’s. And don’t forget about Bruster’s! Their website only lists the Grove City location (2853 Broadway), but I know there’s one in Hilliard, too, on Rome-Hilliard Rd just south of Scioto-Darby at 3555 Main St. They always seem to have a number of maple flavored varieties, especially in the fall.

  4. Bear said

    Jim,

    You’re scaling in the wrong direction. If the Iowans have taken “Ice Cream Capital of the World,” that means we can still have…

    ICE CREAM CAPITAL OF THE UNIVERSE!

    Blue Bunny indeed. Feh.

  5. LeMarsGuy said

    What is the population of Columbus?
    710,000+
    What is the population of LeMars?
    9,000 roughly.

    So LeMars doesn’t have the possibility of having as many ice cream shops as Columbus.

    And this question is even more important.
    Have you ever had Blue Bunny ice cream FROM LeMars?
    I doubt it.

    So this article isn’t credible until you have tried ice cream from the Visitor Center in LeMars.

  6. Bear said

    Well, there is one way we can settle this. Will Blue Bunny be represented at Slow Food Nation in San Francisco next week, by any chance? I’d hope so — the creme de la creme (no pun intended) of the ice cream world will be there, including Columbus’ own Jeni’s. A perfect opportunity for a taste-off.

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